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Martin HD 28

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Betsy 28 Oct 07 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 28 Oct 07 - 10:25 AM
Geordie-Peorgie 28 Oct 07 - 10:41 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Oct 07 - 11:02 AM
Roj 28 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM
van lingle 28 Oct 07 - 11:18 AM
Midchuck 28 Oct 07 - 11:23 AM
Seaking 28 Oct 07 - 11:34 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Oct 07 - 11:39 AM
bobad 28 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM
bubblyrat 28 Oct 07 - 11:57 AM
Roj 28 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM
redsnapper 28 Oct 07 - 01:43 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Oct 07 - 02:05 PM
Bru 28 Oct 07 - 02:39 PM
Betsy 28 Oct 07 - 08:35 PM
Louie Roy 28 Oct 07 - 08:59 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Oct 07 - 05:41 AM
brother 29 Oct 07 - 07:15 AM
van lingle 29 Oct 07 - 09:46 AM
Roj 29 Oct 07 - 11:17 AM
van lingle 29 Oct 07 - 11:36 AM
Cool Beans 29 Oct 07 - 02:57 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM
Betsy 29 Oct 07 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Alan Kershaw 29 Oct 07 - 06:47 PM
Bob Hitchcock 29 Oct 07 - 10:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 07 - 09:39 AM
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Subject: Martin HD 28
From: Betsy
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 10:21 AM

I have a 1994 Martin HD 28. Owned it from new .It is a F*cking cow to keep in tune. I can pick up any of my guitars and they stay in tune even after weeks of not being played.
The 28 wanders out of tune even when just playing finger style I am at my wits end with it. I live in the North of England. It has been to a Martin approved Luthier - still shite. Incidentally he fitted a Fishman preamp /pickup but it was shite before and after being fitted so I don't attach any blame to THAT. In addition to a couple of old Yamaha FG 180's I've also got one of those Martin "plastic" guitars DCX 1E which is an absolute pleasure to play and great sound. I can pick them up at any time give 'em a quick tweak - and perfectly playable without tuning again (relatively) and they are accurate from one end of the fret board to the other. To use that old motor manufacturing phrase , did Martin ever make "Friday Cars" - have I just got a duff one ??? I can't tell you how pissed off I really am. Does anyone know a top "doctor", (bearing in mind distance /location) someone who I think would need to go back to square one , and see what the problem(s) is/are .


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 10:25 AM

I have a Martin JC 16 GTE that won't tune either. I blame it on the Mini Schaller tuners that are on it. I don't believe you have Minis do you?

Don


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 10:41 AM

Hiya Betsy!

Can ye PM uz and aa'll give ye a number te caall for professional (Martin approved)advice


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:02 AM

Marc Challinor on Ilkley Moor, with 'at, good lad, Chris Newman uses him I believe. He set my D28 up nicely.
G.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Roj
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM

Hi Betsy,

You could get the top nut checked out - it might be that the strings are pinching in the slots, so moving as soon as you play, or the nut slots could be too high, making the thing play sharp (a condition present on most instruments "out of the box"). Hard to tell without seeing the instrument, but I'm in the South-East of England. I'm not a "Martin Approved Luthier", but repair and set up instruments, including Martins, Taylors, Gibsons etc. for a living.

Martins do seem to be sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. I played outdoors for a house concert one damp evening, and my D12-28 simply would not settle. HDs are built light, but my money's on something simple being wrong.

Hope you get it sorted - if you do you should have an absolute beauty to play.

All the best,

Brian


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: van lingle
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:18 AM

You might try the Frets.com. FAQ section. They also had a feature where you could ask a luthier (some highly regarded ones) a question. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:23 AM

If you have a problem with a Martin, there is one, and only one, proper place to go, IMO:

http://www.bryankimsey.com/

Click on "Lutherie" at the left.

Of course, shipping costs might be an issue for you.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Seaking
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:34 AM

I have a HD28 and had the same problem, it was a pig to keep in tune and using a capo was a nightmare. I asked for help on this forum and ended up taking the guitar to Trevor Durrant Guitar Centre in Colchester, as well as getting lots of other good advice. The luthier did a fantastic job and completely sorted the problem, also did some general tickling, net result of which I ended up with a gorgeous instrument to play.

I'm not sure how to post the link to my original thread but if you can find it there'll be a lot of useful advice on there.

Good luck

Chris


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:39 AM

He's a long way from you and not officially approved, but Brian Rodgers is as good as many. He is approved for Buzz Felten tweaks if that helps you.

Tuning problems are hardly ever to do with machine heads. There is enough friction in any machine head that it will not "run back" (ie unwind a bit in play) but it is always wise to make the final movement of the tuning key "upwards" to make sure there is no slack ("backlash") in the mechanism.

Is the problem constant, or worse after new strings? If so I'd suspect that the bridge pins are too tight on the strings and it is taking time and vibration to pull the ball ends in really solid.

Are you a string bender? Many finger pickers bend notes a fair bit with their left hand, and if that is the scenario, then Roj's theory about tight nut slots is a possible runner. A "checking" symptom for this might be if the guitar is a "clicker" - you know, you tune the string up, and it won't quite go up the last fraction to be in tune, so you try again and "click" - it has gone past and is now sharp.

You can also get clicking and unreliable tuning if the saddle has too sharp an edge - something quite easy to cause when trying to get intonation spot on. A sharp edge can lodge in the string windings or leave the fat bit of a winding wibbling on top of the saddle edge.

Is the octave spot on on every string? If not, when you tune you will be making compromises by ear which will be a source of problems when changing key.

Have you measured, with an accurate tuner, whether the instrument goes sharp at the first fret and the problem gets worse or better as you go up the neck? If it gets better, the nut is too high or a little too far from the first fret.

Could it be the truss rod or neck joint? Have you checked forward relief and neck angle before and after playing?

Is it better or worse with a capo? Check the old Rick Fielding posts about best practice with capos. If you are using best practice and the capo causes tuning problems you may find the neck relief is a bit high or differeing from side to side.

But if either of you sufferers give up and want to give the guitars away...


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: bobad
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM

Link to Chris' original thread http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=89847


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: bubblyrat
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:57 AM

I don"t know where you are, but I took both my Martin MC 16 GTE, AND my Avalon, both of which were giving me problems, to the guy (sorry, I don"t know his name , but he is always at festivals everywhere ! )from " Oakwood ", and he, my hero, sorted them out in no time, believe me !! ( on both occasions at Towersey ).If you saw him attacking an expensive Martin bridge with a plane , you"d probably faint, especially if it was yours ( The guitar, not the plane ), but boy ! ....does he get results !!! Go try !


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Roj
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM

Planing the bridge is a way of avoiding a neck re-set. It changes the "leverage" exerted on the guitar top and can compromise both tone and volume. I do it as a last resort on instruments that are not valuable enough to have the reset undertaken. HD 28's are not IMHO in that category. I doubt that a 1994 HD28 requires a neck reset. If it did, I'd send it back to the maker with a note of complaint -


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: redsnapper
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 01:43 PM

I also used to do guitar repair full-time and would second what Brian (Roj) said earlier. It's most likely that there's something simple, or a combination of several simple things, that needs adjusting. It's much better to have these checked out first to avoid drastic measures and potentially big bills. Correct guitar setup to suit the player is a skill in iteself and I have worked on many instruments fresh from the original luthier or factory.

RS


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 02:05 PM

What Roj said. Although AFAIK Martin treat non-US purchasers as second class citizens and does not give them the lifetime warranty that US first purchasers get.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Bru
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 02:39 PM

They may not be in your area, but I took my Martin 12 stringer to KGB Guitars in the Pacific Art Centre, Birkenhead. Reasonable price, too. The Martin never sounded so good.
I was so impressed with their work I took my 40 year old Epiphone 12 stringer for an overhaul, and I'm very fussy who messes about with that guitar. It came back better than it's ever been since I bought it 40 years ago.
Fast, friendly, reasonably priced, expert service - with a large tidy, brilliantly equipped workshop. On the strength of the work they've done for me, I'd recommend them to anybody.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Betsy
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 08:35 PM

I've just come back in tonight and overwhelmed with the replies - Don I don't honestly know what Mini Schallers are , so forgive me.
I'll send a PM to Georgie Porgie.
Thanks to "Giok" - that's geographically possible.
Thanks to Roj, vanlingle and Mudchick, I'm taking every bit of advice on board.
Thanks to Seaking, but as Richard pointed out Colchester is not an easy trip. Also Richard in trying to be helpful and I can feel his
concern as asked me more questions than I can answer only to say Richard,that the "click" does occur on the 3rd string which can't be eradicated by nail file on the nut to assist the angel of string entrance.I can also pull every pin from it's hole with my fingers they're not jammed in .
Thanks also to bobad, bubblyrat, redsnapper and Bru and hope we all took on board what Richard said... "Martin treat non-US purchasers as second class citizens and does not give them the lifetime warranty that US first purchasers get".
I'll get there in the end ,it really is the most beautiful thing you have ever played - when IT feels like it then it leaves me after a few minutes.
Apart from all the intelligent advice you have all given - you wouldn't believe how many duff opinions I have been given about this and that - and I've been playing for 40 years !! so I DO value everything you have all written
Thanks again to all - hope I didn't miss anyone, and will keep you all abreast of the outcome.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Louie Roy
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 08:59 PM

I agree with roj.The first thing I'd do is relieve the nut slots.I had the same problem a few years back and I found two things the first was the nut slots and the second was a poor set of string tighteners which I replaced with a good set and no more trouble and it saved me a bunch of money


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 05:41 AM

WEll one of the first things Marc Challinor did to my D28 was to ream out the peg holes to make the pegs fit better. He says that nearly all Martins suffer from a poor fit in this respect. He also said that they all need setting up when you first buy them, as Martin ship them with a fairly high action so you can adjust to suit yourself.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: brother
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 07:15 AM

Hi
It's just a thought but have you thought of Nigel Stockbridge in Richmond?
Trevor


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: van lingle
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 09:46 AM

Grinding a bit of pencil lead into the nut slots helps the strings glide easier. Let us know how things work out. Cheers


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Roj
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 11:17 AM

only if it's a soft pencil - hard pencils stuff china clay into the slots which grinds and causes buzzing


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: van lingle
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 11:36 AM

Right you are, Roj, thanks. I've always used a #2 pencil ( that's a soft one here in the U.S.) ground over the nut slots before placing on a new string. You can also obtain graphite powder at auto parts stores and now I see Stewart-MacDonald is selling Guitar Grease as a lubricant and GHS has also got something on the market.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Cool Beans
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 02:57 PM

Hey, hey, hey! I'm from Detroit. How dare you impugn the Motor City? We do do not make "Friday cars." We make Monday cars. (You know, after a weekend of drunken carousing...)


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 04:06 PM

You can get powdered graphite and also a white powdered silicon lubricant, both intended to lubricate locks, called "Lock-eze" - and I have used them but they are a pretty temporary measure.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Betsy
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:26 PM

Regarding the recent posts - one of the Yamaha's I mentioned has a graphite nut.'Twas fitted by a guy in Holland ages ago.
I have PM'd Georgie Porgie as requested but he? has not got back to me yet.The type of language he used suggested he lived in my part of the world in N.E. England and I thought he may have a local solution.
(Ongoing).


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: GUEST,Alan Kershaw
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:47 PM


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Bob Hitchcock
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 10:18 PM

I have a 1977 HD 28 which I bought new, I had it set up after about 2 years and had a new nut and saddle made from bone. It has played great ever since and stays in tune for weeks at a time, over the years it has only had one other small set up and is now due for another.

One other problem many people have had with these guitars is a small crack in the top from the pickguard to the bridge, mine has not had this problem but know of quite a few that have.

Stick with it, I'm sure it can be fixed and when it is you'll have a wonderful instrument.

Bob.


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Subject: RE: Martin HD 28
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 09:39 AM

Alan Marshall, the luthier of Northworthy guitars let me into a secret a few weeks back. If I'd known it about 15 years ago it would have saved me getting rid of a perfect Martin D35 that wouldn't stay in tune. That bastard guitar made look an idiot in front of an audience just once too often.

Alan told me this, 95% of tuning problems can be sorted out with two things

1) get a nut where the size of the slots has been worked out with micrometer - dedicated to the strings you use.

2) Get some one who REALLY knows what they're doing to choose the pegs and make the holes the right size - so that the strings seat right.

I'm sure people will disagree, but he's a really good guitar maker and he knows a lot, and sees a lot of guitars. Worth a try before you chuck out that Martin.


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